Revised seven-inch Galaxy Tab is thinner, lighter, and faster  

Posted by Daniela Mehler

Samsung announced a replacement for its original seven-inch Galaxy Tab Android tablet, upgraded with a dual-core 1.2GHz processor. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is faster, thinner, lighter, and adds HSPA+ service -- plus, it should be inexpensive, considering the competition from Amazon's $200 Kindle Fire and HTC's Flyer (about to be slashed to $300).

Revised seven-inch Galaxy Tab is thinner, lighter, and faster

As far as we know, the original, seven-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablet (pictured at right) is still the best selling Android tablet of all time. By "all time," we pretty much mean since last November when the Galaxy Tab shipped internationally and on all the major U.S. wireless carriers. After all, it was one of the very first Android tablets to reach market.

Since then, we've seen the Galaxy Tab 10.1 , the Galaxy Tab 7.7 , and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 , each named for their screen size. Now the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus returns to Samsung's seven-inch roots with a thinner profile and a faster processor.

Revised seven-inch Galaxy Tab is thinner, lighter, and faster

Revised seven-inch Galaxy Tab is thinner, lighter, and faster


Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus
(Click on either to enlarge)

The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus will launch in October in Indonesia and Austria, followed by the U.S. and other countries at a later date, presumably by the end of the year. Pricing was not listed, but in the wake of Amazon's $200 Kindle Fire , the 7.0 Plus is almost certain to be cheaper than the original's $600 launch price (with 3G), and may even match the roughly $300 the original Wi-Fi only version costs today.

Revised seven-inch Galaxy Tab is thinner, lighter, and faster

The Kindle Fire's pricing pressures have already been felt keenly. On Oct. 1, HTC and Best Buy will slash the price of the Wi-Fi only, seven-inch HTC Flyer tablet, from $500 to $300, according to SlashGear .

The biggest improvement to the Galaxy Tab is the 7.0 Plus version's dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 processor, a major upgrade from the original's single-core, 1GHz Cortex-A8 Samsung Hummingbird. Samsung doesn't list the name of the processor, holding out the possibility there's a Snapdragon or Tegra 2 under the hood, but we're guessing it's Samsung's Exynos .

This still doesn't match the dual-core 1.4GHz processor found in the Galaxy Tab 7.7, which -- with its Super AMOLED Plus screen -- can be considered the high-end successor to the original Tab. The 7.0 Plus resides in the mid-range, while the "Plus" addendum to its name holds out the possibility that Samsung will come up with a low-end version as well.

The other big improvements are in weight and thickness. This is no surprise considering Samsung has been pushing the size and weight envelope in its other recent tablets as a response to the svelte iPad 2.

Whereas the original Tab measured 7.48 x 4.74 x 0.47 inches and weighed 13.4 ounces, the new 7.0 Plus measures 7.62 x 4.82 x 0.39 inches and weighs 12.17 ounces.

Like the original Tab, the 7.0 Plus model offers 1024 x 600 resolution, according to Samsung. By comparison, other recent high-end Android tablets, such as the Toshiba Thrive 7" , are moving up to 1280 x 800 resolution. The 7.0 Plus also uses PLS LCD display technology, rather than Super AMOLED Plus.

Like most other recent seven-inch tablet entries, the 7.0 Plus features the Android 3.2 version of the "Honeycomb" platform. The tablet is said to be equipped with 1GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of internal flash storage, as well as a microSD slot for adding another 32GB card.

Like the original, the 7.0 Plus features a three-megapixel camera, but its front-facing camera -- which was a breakthrough when the original Tab was announced in September 2010 -- has moved up to two megapixels. The main camera offers LED flash and video recording in 720p HD. Video playback, meanwhile, supports up to 1080p HD quality, says Samsung.

Other features are more or less the same, including 802.11n, GPS, and Bluetooth 3.0, as well as a full list of sensors and a 4000mAh battery. The phone supports HSPA+ -- HSDPA 21Mbps and HSUPA 5.76Mbps -- and will no doubt be billed as being 4G when likely carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile get a hold of it.

The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus adds Samsung's new tablet version of its TouchWiz user interface to the Android 3.2 experience, says the company. The tablet also comes with Google Mobile applications, including Search, Gmail, Google Talk, YouTube, Google Maps, and Android Market. Samsung Social Hub, Readers Hub, and Music Hub services are said to be available, and voice and video call support are supported "with no need for a headset," says Samsung.

Availability

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus will be available in Indonesia and Austria at the end of October, says Samsung. A global rollout will follow in Southeast and Southwest Asia, the U.S., Europe, CIS, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Japan, and China, on a rolling basis, says the company.

More information on the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, including a full spec sheet, may be found at Samsung's Tab 7.0 Plus page .

This entry was posted on 3:25 PM .